Atezolizumab Combo Approved in BRAF V600-Mutant Melanoma

The FDA has approved a new indication for atezolizumab (Tecentriq®, Genentech) in combination with cobimetinib (Cotellic®, Genentech) and vemurafenib (Zelboraf®, Genentech and Daiichi-Sankyo) for the treatment of BRAF V600-mutated advanced melanoma. The approval was granted under a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) with priority review. The approval was based on data from the double-blind, international phase 3 IMspire150 trial (NCT02908672), for which 514 patients with unresecta...
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Advanced Melanoma: Pembrolizumab Effective Regardless of BRAF V600E/K Mutations

In patients with advanced melanoma, pembrolizumab achieves efficacy regardless of BRAF V600E/K mutation status or prior treatment with BRAF and/or MEK inhibitors, according to the results of a new pooled analysis published in JAMA Oncology. Approximately 40% of metastatic melanomas harbor a BRAF mutation, 90% of which are an activating BRAF V600E/K mutation. While targeted agents and immune checkpoint inhibitors, including pembrolizumab, have considerably improved outcomes for patients with adva...
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High Blood Mercury Increases Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Risk

A new study reports that elevated levels of blood mercury are associated with an increased prevalence of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The most common human malignancy, NMSC has continued to rise in incidence in recent years. A better understanding of risk factors, including blood mercury levels, is needed in order to aid in prevention and improve patient outcomes. While a number of epidemiological studies have investigated the link between cancer risk and occupational exposure to mercury, lit...
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Encorafenib/Binimetinib for BRAF V600-Mutant Melanoma With Paolo Ascierto, MD

Combination BRAF/MEK inhibitors such as encorafenib/binimetinib are the current standard of care for patients with BRAF V600-mutant melanoma. Until now, however, the long-term efficacy of encorafenib/binimetinib had not been established. In an updated analysis of the phase 3 COLUMBUS trial, a team of researchers led by Paolo Ascierto, MD, Director of the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy, and Innovative Therapy at the National Tumor Institute Fondazione G. Pascale in Naples, Italy, found th...
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Why Do Pre-Immunotherapy Antibiotics Reduce Survival? With David J. Pinato, MD, MRes, PhD

​Many patients with cancer experience infections requiring treatment. However, David Pinato, MD, MRes, PhD, and colleagues recently found that in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), melanoma, and other tumor types, broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment administered within 30 days prior to the commencement of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy dramatically worsened overall survival (2 vs 26 months) and increased the risk of treatment-refractory disease. In this interview with i3 Heal...
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